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Transit workers in Loudoun County may strike over contract

Thursday - 2/17/2011, 1:23pm  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - There could be a strike among transit workers serving Loudoun County.

The Teamsters union representing the 78 bus drivers and mechanics of Loudoun County Transit says the employees want a new contract to replace one that expires March 3 and has already been extended since 2009.

A spokesman for the union says if the sides don't reach some kind of deal, a strike is an option.

Loudoun County Transit, which carried 770,000 passengers last year, is owned by a French multi-national company called Veolia.

The starting salary for drivers is about $15 per hour with steps up to $17.65. But Union spokesman Sean Cedenio says Veolia is trying to lower that amount in a new contract, even though the county has been steadily increasing its subsidy each year.

A spokewoman for Veolia says they continue to negotiate in good faith with the union, and says a federal mediator has been called in.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)